Tuesday, 20 May 2008

'Hand of Hope'

I received this by email recently and just felt that I had to share it with you all. Some of you may have seen it already. It is incredible.

A picture began circulating in November. It should be 'The Picture of the Year,' or perhaps, 'Picture of the Decade.' It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it. The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb. During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr.Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger.

Dr.Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile. The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, 'Hand of Hope.' The text explaining the picture begins, 'The tiny hand of 21-week- old foetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.' Little Samuel's mother said they 'wept for days' when they saw the picture. She said, 'The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person.' Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. Now see the actual picture.


Flick Saunders said...

What an amazing story and picture! Just goes to show the gift of life is just that - a gift not to be rejected, and the will to survive immense.

Flick Saunders said...

What an amazing story and picture! Just goes to show the gift of life is just that - a gift not to be rejected, and the will to survive immense.

LCD said...

Wow - this brought a tear to my eye and made me feel I should forward it on to someone. Thank you for sharing it.

khoi said...

My first reaction was: Oh, blood! Dissection!
At 18, I thought of going to study Medicine but watching medical students experimenting on corpses changed my mind. I could not see the whole person, with its body dissociated from its mind and soul.
Many, many years have passed.
When I saw the picture 'Hand of Hope' (Thank you for sharing it)I thought - was it a reflex action from the foetus? Could they see while in the womb of their mothers?
We know that all creatures can feel and have feelings. Baby Samuel must have felt the hands that were helping him so he put his tiny hand out to touch the surgeon's finger.
If this is the case what marvellous gifts God has given to mankind - the skills to cure, and above all, the gift of procreating.
This picture will certainly make people think again before making rash decision.
We will certainly discuss the many gifts that each one of us has - and the most important one, the gift of life.